I’ve written about several of my first graders in previous posts. You’ve met Precious Precocious and Kid Danger. Now allow me to introduce you to my friend, Science Kid. He’s bright and very interested in science. Earlier in the year we were discussing sequencing as an inquiry skill. The illustration used in our science book was of the butterfly life cycle. Science Kid pops out with, “That’s a chrysalis.” Indeed.
Something else that you should know about Science Kid is that he has ADHD. On the very first day of school, mom practically threw him in my door. “He should be on meds and he isn’t today,” she informed me before fleeing the scene. Nice! And believe me, you can tell the difference between a day when he has his medication and a day when he doesn’t.
Still, I don’t like to have preconceived notions about kids. I’d rather go along and see what happens. And what I saw was a kid who, while constantly in motion, appeared to me to try hard to do the right thing, and who also was apparently listening even when it seemed that he was not.
It was interesting as our class moved throughout the school to lunch and Fine Arts classes. I kept getting the same reaction. “Oh! You’ve got Science Kid. Wow!” But truthfully, he seemed okay to me.
I realize that I’m more patient that some. While other teachers might be calling home every day, I get that he needs to move, and so as long as he’s paying attention, I’m alright with him digging through the supplies and fidgeting with the edge of the carpet.
On the other hand, I’m not patient with oppositional/defiant behavior. Suddenly, this is what we seem to be getting. And again, I get that there are certain traits I can expect from ADHD, difficulty with transitions for example. Today, he absolutely refused to stop working on an ancillary project that he can finish tomorrow. When I insisted that he stop and leave it for another time, he set about trying to break a pen from the supply basket. That’s not okay with me. My patience is beginning to wear thin.
I try to temper my response to his behavior with the understanding that as unpleasant as he can sometimes be on the outside, it’s probably much worse on the inside to be Science Kid.